WRS322FDAB05 Whirlpool Refrigerator Ice maker traps cubes in exit chute

garyfritz

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Model Number
WRS322FDAB05
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
I have a WRS322FDAB05. The ice maker works fine (though it is a damn noisy beast). It freezes and ejects cubes just fine. This is a low-humidity area so I have no trouble with ice clumping or anything like that. The exit chute is clean and clear.

Everything works fine... except when you stop vending ice, there's a plastic flap that closes the chute. Sometimes it traps a cube as it closes. This probably leaks cold air out of the freezer, but more importantly, the cube eventually melts enough to fall out. And then it lands on the hardwood floor, where it melts into a puddle on the wood. Not good.

If I remembered to look every time I got ice, I could jiggle the ice thingie and knock the cube loose. But I'm not likely to remember that every time, and even if I put a hot-pink sticky note next to the ice vendor, my son would still forget to stand on his head so he could look up in there.

I contacted Whirlpool support. After going through the standard troubleshooting questions, none of which applied, he said "Sorry, better call a service tech." Well I don't think there's anything broken. I think it works just as it's designed to work. It's just a bad design that catches cubes and then drops them on the floor.

Any suggestions?
 

rickgburton

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garyfritz

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I agree it's a bad design, but... the door DOES seal. Not perfectly, but does it need to? I poured half a cup of water into the chute and the door was sealed tightly enough that the water just trickled out slowly. But the door also closes slowly, and sometimes that means a cube gets trapped in the ice door.

I'd like to be sure the replacement part is going to fix the problem before I invest $63 into it.

Thanks much!
 

rickgburton

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garyfritz said:
the door DOES seal. Not perfectly, but does it need to?
Absolutely! Check the fin on the ice door and see if its touching the outside of the opening when it's closed.
garyfritz said:
..also closes slowly,
That's part of the problem that's been corrected
 

rickgburton

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What's your mechanical ability? I might be able to tell you how to fix that one but there's no guaranties. You'll need to remove the UI and the ice door assembly.
 

garyfritz

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Absolutely! Check the fin on the ice door and see if its touching the outside of the opening when it's closed.
I see a fin on the INside of the door, in the chute. I think it's touching, but it's hard to tell. I can't see in at that angle and I can't feel if it's actually touching anything. I don't see a fin on the outside of the door.

What's your mechanical ability? I might be able to tell you how to fix that one but there's no guaranties. You'll need to remove the UI and the ice door assembly.
I'm moderately capable. With a bit of guidance I diagnosed and replaced the dead condenser motor on my last fridge. (See here: https://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/threads/old-amana-refrigerator-dying-not-cooling-properly.56004/)

Are you saying you know how to fix it without the new part? Or are you talking about the procedure for installing the new part?

Remove the UI -- the "user interface" ? The buttons/etc on the ice dispenser? I assume I could do that, if I knew how to attack it. I see a couple of screws that hold in the clear plastic external chute/activator but I don't see how to remove the UI.
 

rickgburton

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It's a bit more technical than replacing a part but yes, I'm referring to fixing the old part. I can tell you what to do but if it's not done correctly it's game over. You'll be cutting a notch in plastic, bending the lever on a microswitch at a precise angle with needle nose pliers, and removing one or more teeth on a gear and filing it smoothe. Depending on your mechanical ability it can take several hours to all day. Removing the UI and ice door module is the easy part. Normally I wouldn't mention that it could possibly be repaired because, #1 it might not work, and #2, 9 times out of 10 people overestimate their mechanical ability, open a can of worms, and end up replacing the ice door module anyways.
 
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garyfritz

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Hm. Investing hours in a process that I might fumble anyway... I think you're right, I'd be better off buying the new part. Thanks much for the pointers!!
 

garyfritz

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The new part is on the way.

FWIW yesterday I was working in the kitchen when the icemaker spit a cube onto the floor. I looked at the icemaker, and another one was still stuck. Don't know if this is of use or not, but here you can see the cube caught in the chute, trapped by the flap (the white thing at the top). Hopefully the new part will keep that from happening.

1560995820668.png
 

garyfritz

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OK, was out of town last week, finally opened the box to replace the part. Aaaand there is a part but no instructions. I don't see any on the AppliancePartsPros site or anywhere else. Anybody know how to replace this thing? It appears that it's supposed to slide in from the front. Apparently I have to remove the UI (the buttons/lights in front) so I can slide out the old and slide in the new?

BTW the new part's door still closes slowly and snaps shut at the end, just like the old one. I hope it doesn't work just like the old one...
 

rickgburton

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garyfritz said:
Apparently I have to remove the UI
3 locking tabs on the bottom front of the UI. Use a small screwdriver.
garyfritz said:
I hope it doesn't work just like the old one...
Me too
 

garyfritz

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Hm. I see two possible holes, but not a third. Am I just supposed to push a screwdriver into the hole and it releases, or do I need to pry in there? I can't see diddly up in there...

43882
 

rickgburton

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There might only be two I can't remember for sure. I'll see if I can find any information.
 

garyfritz

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Thanks, Rick. FWIW I tried the two holes and I couldn't find anything that moved or released. Maybe I just didn't force it hard enough but I didn't want to break anything. Plus I'm not sure if I'm supposed to push in, or pry (forwards/backwards/?), or what. I've tried to get a camera in there so I can see what's in those holes, but I can't get any detail so I'm flying blind.
 

rickgburton

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I haven't been able to find anything else. All the ones I've had to remove came off the same way by releasing a couple tabs. Did you try Youtube?
 

garyfritz

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No I didn't. Here are a couple of Whirlpool videos that show removing the ice dispenser facade (including UI I think) by slipping a putty knife under the bottom edge. Does that look like the right approach?


I'm out of town this week so I can't check it right now.
 

rickgburton

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Sometimes looking at pictures can be tricky and with my old eyes anything's possible but let's see if you and I see the same thing in these pictures. On the back of the UI I see at least two tabs that stick straight out and what look to be a BB on the end.
44001

I couldn't find a picture of the dispenser assembly but this drawing should work. Look at the two "ramps". Don't the tabs ride up the ramps and the BB locks it in?
44002
 

garyfritz

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OK, I'm back. The "putty knife under the edge of the bezel/facade" is not going to work for me -- my icemaker doesn't HAVE a facade like that. It's basically recessed into the door.

So I think I'm back to "how do I pop off the UI so I can replace the ice chute" ...

44037
 
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